Woman walking her dog in Kamloops area discovered sign covered in racist graffiti. (Photo contributed)

Vandalized sign on First Nations land is ‘out-and-out racism’

Kamloops area sign that welcomes mushroom pickers covered in racist graffiti

  • Jul. 2, 2018 10:45 a.m.

—Kamloops This Week

A Batchelor Heights resident is feeling saddened and ashamed after discovering a defaced sign that welcomes mushroom pickers to Secwepemc territory up Lac Du Bois Road.

Bonnie Jesten was walking her dog early one morning last week when she noticed the sign was covered in large red letters saying “F— Indians.” The sign also contained white supremacist sayings “white is right” and “white power” in smaller black writing as well as the sentence “Indians have had enough.”

Seeing those words upset Jesten who said she felt compelled to take a picture of the sign and let people know about it.

“To me it was totally bad manners,” Jesten said, noting that she is not of First Nations heritage herself. “I’m upset that Canadians would act that way. I thought we were better than that.”

Jesten, however, didn’t alert the authorities or a First Nations band to the sign.

“I thought about phoning the Indian band, but I just wasn’t too sure how I could apologize to them for the behaviour of somebody who obviously isn’t Indigenous,” Jesten said.

Related: Funds aimed at ending racism

She did contemplate cleaning the writing off but feared causing more damage to the sign, which advises mushroom pickers and buyers, and lists four bands in the area where permits can be obtained.

Ron Ignace, chief of the Skeetchestn Band — one of the four bands listed on the sign — said he was not aware of the structure or the obscenities written on it but condemns the actions.

“That’s sick,” Ignace said of the writing. “It’s out-and-out racism.”

Ignace described actions like this as a serious concern and intends to “take a look” at the sign.

“It’s a violation of our human rights and it should be a concern for law abiding citizens throughout the country to have that kind of mentality spread around,” Ignace said.

He said he’s confident the people of Kamloops also condemn this type of mentality.

Jesten said she wants people to know that regardless of their background we all live here together and need to accept and support each other.

“To me the Indigenous people should be saying ‘Yeah, we’ve had enough,’” said Jesten. “They’ve been treated badly for decades and decades.”


@SalmonArm
newsroom@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Names hatched for quail sculptures

The Keremeos quails have names.

Appreciation dinner for Keremeos firefighters in the works

Dinner and fundraiser for the Keremeos Volunteer Fire Department to be held Nov. 17 at Victory Hall

Dog control ramping up on Okanagan Rail Trail

RDNO taking extra precautions to ensure dogs remain on leash

Phone scam uses false RCMP ID on call display

North Okanagan RCMP say there are applications that allow people to change, hide call display info

Pawsitive response by the community for 60-plus surrendered cats

Community comes together to help surrendered cats at Penticton SPCA

VIDEO: Rare close encounter with whale pod spotted off B.C. waters

Pod of southern resident orca whales breach within arms length of whale watchers

Rattie scores 3 as Oilers blank Canucks 6-0

Vancouver slips to 1-5 in exhibition play

Veterans Affairs ordered to take second look before supporting vets’ relatives

Liberal government ordered officials to adopt a more critical eye

Dead B.C. motorcyclist was member of group that raced down mountain road

Some group members record their rides on Strathcona Parkway and post times to page

Indigenous athletes in spotlight at BC Sports Hall of Fame

New gallery to feature Carey Price, Kaila Mussel and Richard Peter

Okanagan College student population climbs

Enrolment up nearly 14 per cent

B.C. couple who went missing on flight from Edmonton named by family

Family released a statement Wednesday saying they’re still intent on finding the two-seater plane

Coldstream supports Okanagan College Campus residence project

Project would see a 100-bed residence on the Vernon campus in Coldstream

VIDEO: A close look at what you were breathing during the B.C. wildfire season

Electron microscope images show soot and tar particles generated by worst B.C. fire season

Most Read